The Mobile Device Investor and the Bubblegum Theory

By Jason Whitmire

While we still don’t know the impact of Ovi, iPhone, or Android on
the dynamics of tomorrow’s device landscape, we know that “End Users”
have evolved into sophisticated buyers of new devices, especially as
subsidies gradually decline.  Although I don’t think anyone quite knows
where the value is going in the new mobile ecosystem (is it migrating
to software, devices, services, networks, content…?), everyone is
trying to understand how to best monetize the new mobile economy as
relationships between all the players – operators, manufacturers,
software developers and Internet /media companies – shift. There are no
spellbinding stories yet.

In my last blog,
I tried to formulate the term “mobile device investor” to drive as
large a wedge as possible into the idea that mobile consumers are
simply End Users – people who are unable to multitask when chewing
bubblegum and only in search of a good application or service to
contribute to self actualization. In today’s world, mobile device
investors are typically not End Users praying for the next killer
application (these, as far as I have seen, do not really exist in the
mobile market). Rather, consumers today are increasingly acting like
investors and have heightened expectations for mobile devices – they
expect these to continuously improve and evolve (Apple and Nokia are
two of the few companies that deserve an underscore on this point). In
this sense, devices increase the value of customer ownership in a big
way (especially when combined with brand & access).

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